Bulgarian Ex-PM Stages Brazen Violation of Election Law

Elections 2013 | May 12, 2013, Sunday // 17:06|  views

GERB chair and former Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov cast his ballot Sunday afternoon in Bankya near Sofia. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's former PM Boyko Borisov has once again broken a legislative ban on campaigning during election day, upon casting his ballot Sunday.

Borisov, who chairs center-right GERB party, used his public appearance to explicitly implicate rival Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement for Rights and Freedoms in attempting to rig the vote.

He also claimed that "according to all opinion polls, GERB are coming out first at the vote."

The legislative ban on canvassing on the day of elections and the preceding "reflection day" in Bulgaria is understood to include a ban on all opinion polls announcements and positive or negative mentioning of party names during those two days.

Saturday, law enforcement officials uncovered 350,000 surplus ballots, which the prosecution said they believe were printed illegally.

According to Borisov, the investigation was carried out unprofessionally, and the ballots should have been intercepted Sunday to see their addressees.

"Today, they would have been detaining in different towns people who received and filled in the ballots for the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement of Rights and Freedoms," said Borisov.

Speculations are rife in Bulgaria that it was Borisov's party GERB that was to actually benefit from the ballots, as the owner of the printing house is known to be close to the party.

Borisov similarly broke the no-campaigning requirement during fall 2011 presidential elections, which were won by GERB candidate Rosen Plevneliev.

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Tags: GERB, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Boyko Borisov, Elections 2013, opinion poll

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